HC Deb 26 March 1998 vol 309 cc261-2W
Miss McIntosh

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what representations he has received from employers in the private sector relating to the New Deal and the long-term unemployed. [34928]

Mr. Andrew Smith

We have received many representations from employers about the New Deal and have been greatly encouraged by the level of commitment that these have shown. Over 2,300 employers have now signed the employers agreement.

Mr. Stephen Twigg

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what plans he has to help unemployed people over the age of 25 years from benefits into work. [34922]

Mr. Andrew Smith

The New Deal for adults who have been unemployed for two years or more will start in June this year and will offer the opportunity to take up a subsidised job or to study towards a work-related qualification whilst remaining on benefit. In addition, we are making available an extra £100 million to pilot an extension to the type of approach used in the New Deal for the young unemployed; up to 70,000 unemployed people of 25 and over from November this year will be eligible. These pilots will provide individually tailored help and support for adults in the pilot areas who have been unemployed for 18 months or more and in some areas, for 12 months or more.